I have brain issues.
There, I said it. It’s right there, above, look!
While I am generally well adjusted, calm, and capable of calling myself “well adjusted” and “calm” with a straight face despite all signs to the contrary, there are things that make me angry.
But there are a couple of things that, objectively, should not even register on anyone’s “giving a damn” radar. Yet these things can make me furious. Inside my head. Inside-head-fury is the best kind of fury. Try it. It’s on me.
Here are some of those things.
3. Having my greeting ignored
I’m a friendly guy. I’ll smile. I’ll make eye contact. I’ll chuckle appreciatively when you tell me a joke about poultry crossing some roads. I’ll always say “hi”, or at least nod, when we pass each other in the hallway.
But you better return that “hi” or nod. If you pass by me and fail to acknowledge my greeting in an appropriate manner, I will hate you forever. “Forever” being “a few seconds of stunned, silent rage”, until the rational part of my brain catches up and tells me it’s not a big deal.
I’m not completely insane. I realise there are a lot of reasons you could have ignored me. Maybe you were in a hurry. Maybe you were so lost in thought that you didn’t even see me. Maybe you come from a place where greetings are prohibited by government decree. Maybe you’re simply allergic to the word “hi”.
See, the rational Daniel knows this. However, for a few moments after you overlook that smile I have so generously shared, I will be mad. Really mad. It’s quite impressive how quickly I’ll turn from a friendly, well-meaning person to a ball of condensed hatred when this happens.
Don’t worry, you won’t even know I hate you. I’ll come around quickly enough and forget all about it. Unless you do it again, that is. If I brand you a “repeat greeting offender” you shall know my wrath. You won’t see it, you won’t know about it, but you’ll feel it, somehow. I’m sure of it. You’ve been warned.
2. People who don’t play the “bless you” game
Look, let’s face it: saying “bless you” after someone sneezes doesn’t do anything useful. It doesn’t help the sneezing person in any way. It won’t cure their sneezing affliction. It’s essentially just you saying “hey there, I noticed you sneezed, so I wanted to let you know that I heard it and, you know, here we are”.
Yet, somehow, we have collectively decided that a sneeze calls for a customary “bless you” / “thank you” exchange. Humans are weird.
I play the “bless you” game all the time, because I’m polite and have OCD. So it usually bothers me when my own sneezes are greeted by the sound of fish singing the opera. That was a cryptic and contrived way of saying “silence”, because I don’t do word things too good.
But that’s nothing compared to having my “bless you” ignored. I am typically the first – and often the only – person in the room to offer a well-timed “bless you” after someone’s sneeze. When that person proceeds to silently accept my “bless you” without a “thank you”, Daniel go mad quick. Again, you won’t notice this, but you can bet I’m finding elaborate, nose-related ways to put a curse on you.
Again, I know how ridiculous it is to get worked up about this, but refer to “brain issues” above.
1. The “stop” button stand-off
This is a very niche case, so bear with me as I try to explain. Busses in Denmark have this “stop” button you can press, which tells the driver you want to get off at the next stop. That way, if nobody presses the “stop” button and there’s nobody at the bus stop, the driver can just carry on driving. Smart.
Well, trust me to find a way to get mad about it.
I take a bus from work to a train station nearby. Pretty much everyone on that bus gets off at that train station. I know this, so I usually wait for someone to press the “stop” button. Someone usually does. But then there are days where the bus gets closer and closer to the station, yet nobody presses the button. This is when my brain goes through the following silent monologue:
“Come on, guys. I know you’re going to the station too. Press the ‘stop’ button. If you don’t press it he won’t stop. Guys?! We’re close now. Press the goddamn button! Jesus, fine, I’ll press the damn button myself. Here! I have to remember everything for you! Without me you’d miss your stop and who knows how your lives would have turned out?! And you don’t even thank me for it. You just take all of that button-pressing work I do for granted, don’t you?! What? Now you’re leaving the bus before me?! How dare you?! Do you even know what I’ve done for you? You owe me! I made this possible!”
Yeah…it’s…it’s probably a good thing I share this post after getting married. I doubt she’d have said “yes” otherwise.
Speaking of which, here are those professional wedding photos I’ve promised. Hopefully they’ll help you forget how incurably mad I am at times.